The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards 2012 are on the horizon, and the organisation is on the hunt for inspirational accommodation businesses that are making a difference and practicing sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism principles.
Wild Asia’s story began in 1998. Back then, whilst known as Wildborneo.net, it was a hub for individuals who shared a passion for forests and communities. As a result of growing readership and contributors, Wildasia.net was born in 2003, and in the same year, Wild Asia was also registered as a social enterprise – an organisation aimed at bringing about positive social and environmental change.
A United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) report recently highlighted responsible and sustainable tourism as an “essential link” in the globe’s multi-pronged efforts for an environmentally, and economically healthy future.
Whether a nominated finalist or a category winner, the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards offer recognition to those in the industry who have most embraced the key principles.
The awards are based on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, which maps out the minimum requirements that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to “protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for poverty alleviation.”
Wild Asia’s recognises that responsible travel is about more than just the travelling. It’s about the wider effects on the local, and ultimately global, community and economy – a mantra that we relayed in our recent Guide to Sustainable Tourism.
We spoke with Sue Hurdle, chief executive of the Travel Foundation, for the guide, who said: “It’s really about tourism that is simply better; better for destinations, better for people, better for the environment.”
Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards reward businesses that are at their social and environmental best, and practicing support for local communities.
The categories are:
- Best in Community Engagement and Development
- Best in Cultural Preservation
- Best in Human Resource Management and Workers’ Welfare
- Best in Protection of Natural Area and/or Wildlife Conservation
- Best in Resource Efficiency
- Overall Winner: Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator
For details of previous winners and finalists, Wild Asia’s Map of Hope pinpoints a record of outstanding holiday providers. Exceptional efforts to operate in a sustainable and environmentally responsible fashion certainly deserve to be recognised.